‘So many lives in one day’: Sri Lankans mourn after Easter carnage
Wave of terror attacks has struck a new kind of fear into the island’s residents
Debris was still scattered across the courtyard of St Anthony’s church on Monday afternoon when screaming filled the air again. From the dense neighbourhood surrounding the church in Colombo, one of the sites where hundreds were killed in a suicide bombing on Easter Sunday, people started fleeing into the streets in distress, many carrying wailing children. A suspicious vehicle was rumoured to be in the area. People were running for their lives.
Sri Lanka lived through nearly 26 years of a ruthless civil war, one in which the tactic of suicide bombing was popularised. But Sunday’s string of attacks has cast a different kind of fear into residents of the Sri Lankan capital. “Eight explosions in one day,” said Sydney Fernando, who had helped to rescue survivors and gather body parts from St Anthony’s church on Sunday. “The war was never like this: so many lives in one day, and in holy places – this is the first time in Sri Lankan history that I know of.”